On Monday in Valencia the lightweight class participated in the Valencia Moto3 Official Test.
Dani Holgado tried the 2024 Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team as the entire Moto3 field also rode on Pirelli rubber for the first time. The Italian tyre brand taking over from Dunlop as the sole tyre supplier to Moto3 in 2024.
It is fair to say that everything seemed to go well as despite nursing a foot injury from the previous race weekend, Holgado set a new all time lap record at the circuit Ricardo Tormo with a 1m37.300, almost a full-second faster than the previous benchmark of 1m38.286 of Darryn Binder set in 2021. For further comparative purposes, pole position for Sunday’s Moto3 race was a 1m38.311 by Collin Veijer, and the fastest race lap was recorded by David Alonso at 1m38.438.
Holgado rode two of the three sessions, completed a total of thirty-six laps with his new package, and heads to the off-season fastest of the final official day on track of 2023.
Dani Holgado – P1
“I am really happy with our test day because we had both the new KTM bike and Pirelli tyres, and I was really fast. The grip was also very good. Everyone worked really well, so I want to thank both KTM and the Tech3 team for this amazing day, because we head to the off season on a really positive note. It is now time to rest and recover from this intense year.”
Rookie of the year and GASGAS rider David Alonso has closed 2023 with a positive day of testing in Valencia in third position behind Red Bull KTM Ajo rider José Antonio Rueda, one of his rivals for the rookie of the year title. Today Alonso completed his second day of testing on the bike he will compete with in 2024, after first throwing a leg over it in September at Barcelona, and from the first moment he has had the same sensations that he achieved that day.
David Alonso – P3
“It was an important test because we had to try the new bike with the new tyres, like we did in Barcelona in September. From the first moment I have had the same good feelings as in that test, and I have been very comfortable with the bike. We were able to work on my rhythm, alone, all day. All the laps I have done have helped me understand the bike more in terms of position and geometry, because it changes with respect to the bike we had this year. We leave with good feelings from this test.”
Collin Veijer, who ended his debut season as a Grand Prix winner and seventh in the World Championship, continued his work on Monday. Still a little battered from the previous day’s sighting lap crash, the Dutchman took it easy and concentrated less on fast lap times but more on the new tyres that will be available next year. From Wednesday, the ambitious youngster will then focus on the brand new Husqvarna, which the 18-year-old has high hopes for as the 2024 season approaches.
Collin Veijer – P7
“First of all, I have to say that I woke up this morning very sore, everything still hurts from yesterday’s crash. Nevertheless, we got off to a good start this morning, even though it was still very early. For myself, I did a very good first session to get a feeling. Today was all about just riding, not being super-fast, and this plan worked out brilliantly in the second session. It was much better than before; we improved a lot and I felt strong all the time. In the last session this afternoon I could see a lot of things that weren’t quite right from some of the riders, but now I finally know where they made their time and at what points. But that shouldn’t be our concern because I think the test went quite well today and we were able to set very good lap times overall. Let’s see what we can achieve on Wednesday when I ride the new bike for the first time because so far, I’ve seen that it’s a very strong bike and I’m very excited to try it out as soon as possible. Apart from that, the conditions were good for the most part, although there was more or less annoying wind in all the corners. It was difficult because it was always coming from the inside, but overall, the weather was good for testing because it wasn’t too cold and not too hot.”
Red Bull KTM Tech3 welcomed 18-year-old Australian Jacob Roulstone coming from the FIM Junior Grand Prix with the Aspar Team, in addition to having participated in the 2023 edition of the Red Bull Rookies Cup. The goal of the day was to take this first day to discover his new bike and get his first feeling of the Moto3 class. Roulstone completed a total of 58 laps across the three sessions with a best lap 1m38.511 from Session 3 placing him 12th on combined times.
“I am very happy with my first day in the team. Everyone has given me a warm welcome, and all the team is very nice! My first runs were a bit challenging, but then the feeling started to come as the day went by. Lap after lap I got more used to the tyres and it became easier. In the last session, we tried the new 2024 bike and it felt amazing! Happy going to the winter break with a nice feeling!”
Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager
“What a better way to start our 2024 season with the Moto3 team than taking the new all time lap record in Valencia! Today was a really interesting day, because we were able to test the new 2024 bike prepared by KTM, but it was also our first official day with Pirelli, who will be the official tyres supplier for the Moto3 class in 2024. Right out of the box, Daniel Holgado felt really confident, everything was almost perfect, even if he was still suffering from his left foot injury sustained in qualifying Saturday. He did a few laps and broke the all time lap record by nearly a second, which is amazing. He can now go to rest and spend the winter break with a positive frame of mind. On the other side, we were pleased to welcome Jacob Roulstone who will do his rookie season in Moto3 with us next year. He worked really hard, in a very constructive way with his new team and finished twelfth in the combined standing, which is really good for a first day. He already feels very comfortable with the new crew, and that is a key thing for a rookie, so we are happy to have been able to get a first day on track before the winter. I am positive, and I believe that we are set to have a great 2024 season! Thank you to everyone, and I wish the whole staff a good winter!”
Joel Kelso made his debut with the BOE Motorsports KTM Team on Monday alongside new team-mate David Munoz, a rider that he has not been on great terms with in previous seasons. The rivalry commenced with Munoz 13th quickest and Kelso 14th on the time-sheets.
Tatsuki Suzuki enjoyed his first day with the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact Team. The Japanese rider, who succeeds his compatriot Ayumu Sasaki, who took second place in the 2023 Moto3 World Championship, primarily used the three one-hour practice sessions to get back to a good feeling for riding again after his almost seven-week forced break, especially as the Husqvarna is very different to the Honda he has been riding to date. For the three-time GP winner, it is now time to let all these new impressions sink in until Wednesday and, together with his new crew, put together a plan for the last day of testing before the winter break. The 26-year-old spoke very positively after his first day at work and is looking forward to getting his hands on the new 2024 machine on Wednesday.
Tatsuki Suzuki – P23
“It was a difficult return for me because I haven’t ridden a Moto3 bike since the Japanese Grand Prix. It was a break of almost seven weeks. Of course, I continued my training program with different bikes during this time, but it’s a big step to get back on a proper race bike. That’s why we used today as training sessions, mainly to get back into race mode. It was also my first day with the team, with the Husqvarna Moto3 bike and the new tyres from Pirelli. So, a lot of things were completely new to me and this was why it was an intense day in terms of mentality and at the end of the day, my brain was just very full. It’s good that we have another day of testing on Wednesday and a day off tomorrow where I’ll reset my mind to focus on what we need to work on first and foremost to get me ready as quickly as possible. First, I have to adapt my riding style to the Husqvarna because it’s completely different to the bike I’ve been riding for the last few years. So, I’m concentrating on how I can ride the Husqvarna Moto3 machine. But in the end, I am very happy to be with LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP because the people here are very serious, professional, and also very calm. That’s why I’m looking forward to working with them again on Wednesday.”
The next time most Moto3 competitors will hit the track will be in February 2024, at the Portimao Moto3 Test on February 22nd and 23rd. However, some riders will test again this Wednesday.
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